I wanted to take part in the #POCathon taking place from August 12th until August 19th because I’m all for diversifying my reading. I know I should read more books by authors of color, and featuring people of color, so this seemed perfect. The readathon was hosted by Ghost Reader, Diana in Colour, Myn Kobayashi, StoryGlyph, and Paola Mancera.
There were 5 challenges for the readathon. I didn’t read as much last week as I had hoped to, but let’s take a look at what I read anyway.
1. Read books with main characters from 3 different races or ethnicities
Before you get excited, I didn’t finish all these books!! In fact, I only finished one…
I listened to the audiobook of Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, a novel told in verse that centers around Will. Will is fifteen years old as he steps in the elevator on his way to kill the guy who murdered his brother. It takes place in the span of one minute, during his elevator ride. It’s so good. Honestly, read this! And if you can, listen to the audiobook because the author narrates it himself. Will is a black American character.
I then started reading On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee. This is a science fiction novel by a Korean-American author and centered around (from what I can piece together) a Chinese-American woman. Although I don’t think America is still a thing in this book? So who knows really. I only read a little bit of this book (like 30 pages), because it’s quite a slow read!
I also listened to half of the audiobook of Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. This is about Amina, a Pakistani-American girl and her best friend, Soojin.
Lastly, while I was on a trip I bought a copy of Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama in a secondhand bookstore. This is a Japanese novel set in Tokyo and centers around a police department, cover-ups, and a kidnapping case gone horribly wrong. I read about 200 pages of this during the readathon.
I think I did pretty well for this challenge! I read a book with a black main character, a book with a Pakistani-American main character, a book with a Chinese main character, and a book with a Japanese main character. Although I didn’t finish them all. But I do intend on finishing them asap!
2. Read a translated book
I started reading Six Four during the readathon which was written by Hideo Yokoyama in Japanese, and translated into English by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies.
I didn’t manage to finish it, but I did read about 200 pages! I’m currently reading it still, and am about 360 pages in. Maybe I’ll have finished it by the time this post goes up… I’m really enjoying this crime novel, as it gives an interesting look into the Japanese justice system.
3. Read SFF by or featuring a person of color
This is where my read of On Such a Full Sea comes in, which is a science fiction novel set in B-Mor, a colony formerly known as Baltimore. I was so excited to read this because I had heard great things about the author. I realized quickly that this book isn’t really suitable for readathons. While very interesting, it makes for a slow read. So I read 30 pages, and put it down for later.
4. Read poetry by an author of color
FINALLY ONE I MANAGED TO COMPLETE! I listened to the audiobook of Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, which is a novel told in verse. It’s honestly so good, and I would highly recommend it. I believe I gave it 4 or 4.5 stars.
5. Read a book that deals with racism, prejudice or immigration
This challenge is why I started listening to the audiobook of Amina’s Voice. It’s a middle grade novel centered around Amina. Her best friend, Soojin, decides to change her name when she becomes an American citizen so that she can fit in more and become more ‘American’. Amina then starts questioning whether she should do the same, how she can fit in better, etc.
I’m about halfway through the audiobook, and it’s quite interesting so far. Amina does get on my nerves at times but that is expected from a main character in a middle grade novel.
That’s everything! I know I technically only finished one book -and a really short one at that. But I started quite three other reads, which I will be finishing in the coming weeks. So I didn’t completely fail? At least I’m truly making an effort to read more books by and/or featuring PoC!